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Inching ahead on integration

Saturday, March 31st, 2012
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The Special Committee announced after Friday’s meeting that it will complete the integration process within two weeks. According to the committee, political parties have agreed to decommission the Maoist camps and hand over the weapons to the government by April 12.

Earlier, the integration process was in a limbo because the hardline faction within the UCPN (Maoist) was strongly againts the party leadership’s stance on peace and statute and took a long time to come to an agreement.

The Maoists had been demanding army posts up to brigadier general, while other parties maintained that former combatants should not be given ranks  higher than a major.  However, Finance Minister and Special Committee member Barsha Man Pun told the press that leaders have reached an informal understanding on the ranks in the NA.

The parties have also decided to set up a general directorate comprising of NA and PLA personnel and transfer the responsibility of screening candidates for integration to the NA as agreed on the seven point deal.

“All the combatants who have opted for integration will be handed over to the Army once we conclude the retirement process,” said Pun and added, “weapons stored in containers and used for the security of cantonments will be brought under the government within mid-April.”

A team from the Special Committee Secretariat will visit cantonments starting next week to conduct the final survey in which the ex-combatants will be given the option of voluntary retirement or integration once again.

This latest development is expected to give a much needed impetus to the constitution writing process which needs to be completed in the next two months. The decision was reached after the Supreme Court rejected the government’s request to review its earlier verdict that had ruled out the 10th amendment to the interim constitution to extend the CA tenure for the fifth time.

The Special Committee will meet again on Sunday to endorse a detailed action plan.

Dewan Rai

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